Our 2nd Newsletter is online!

This is the second newsletter of GREENCAP project . GREENCAP is the horizontal project in charge of the Renewable Energy Community of Interreg MED

Energy and Planning

How do visualization tools help to energy planning development?

Dear readers,

I am glad to present you our second newsletter. In this occasion, the thematic scope is energy and planning. The aim is to highlight the relevance of incorporating energy strategies in planning development. Most of the infrastructures considered for energetic plans require an occupation of space. That means that energy infrastructures should be integrated into urban planning as part of the functions that territory has to assume.

At territorial scale, knowledge of local renewable energy sources is key information to develop energetic plans for short, middle and long-term implementations. Energy management also requires accurate information that links energy consumption and energy production. In this sense, visualization mapping tools help from strategic planning process until management performance. The utilization of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and various spatial or resource planning methodologies allows a more efficient and sustainable land-use.

Currently, several practices have been developed in order to establish different applications of GIS in energy planning. We may find several applications of GIS and Wemaps for energy matters. GIS represents a format where variables and database are mostly centralized and used to be designed according to assessment indicators guidelines. Webmaps is a format which is probably based on simpler variables, but in comparison to traditional GIS, has a wider potential impact because it allows linking databases as well as create a collaborative database.

For this matter, this issue aims to make an overall reflection about the different scopes and applications of both types. In this issue, we also count with the special participation of PRISMI, FORBIOENERGY and COMPOSE Projects, explaining their vision about energy planning and mapping tools.

During the last months, our Renewable Energy Community carried out the first Thematic Event in Barcelona: Challenges for Energy Model in Islands and Rural Contexts. Over half of the population of the European Union lives in intermediate or rural areas, and islands. Rural areas and islands have intrinsic fragility in terms of energy security, environmental sustainability, and socio-economic potential; they rely heavily on the implementation of renewable energies in these regions as it has multi-faceted and massive benefit to the environment, as well as offering ways to diversify and secure various sources of income for the local population. The Thematic Event in Barcelona brought out the opportunity for all MPs  of the RES community to work together through three thematic working groups: 1) Technology & Smart grids, 2) Local Renewable Energy Cluster and 3) Policies and Governance. During the event, it was highlighted several times the relevance of integrating energy and urban planning.

We are convinced that planning techniques focused on improving resource allocation, optimizing rural and island production, and developing environmentally sustainable communities can drastically improve the energy landscape and economy of Europe.

Cynthia Echave

Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona